Reiki and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Did you know that Reiki may help with PTSD?
Are you one of many people suffering with PTSD?
If you are, your symptoms may include:
Negative thoughts about self
Self-Isolation, feeling distant
Anger and irritability
Reduced interest in favourite activities
Insomnia and more besides.
In America, Reiki and other holistic therapies are being utilized to assist in the treatment of American Veterans who suffer PTSD. Here is an extract from the website Hope for the Warriors.
Reiki as Therapy
At a recent event for The Veterans Mental Health Coalition of NYC, Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs
(MOVA) Commissioner Loree Sutton, M.D. shared a presentation on the importance of alternative therapies.
She advocated that in recent years the Department of Defence (DoD) has been investing money in
alternative therapies such as Reiki.
Sutton explained that these alternative therapies are becoming the standard approach for PTSD treatment
because of the impact they have on the body and mind. She supported those alternative medicines need to
change from being viewed as “alternative” and shift to being viewed as core treatment.
To read the full article click here.
PTSD and the ‘Fight or Flight’ Response
When we experience a situation where we believe we are under threat, stress hormones are released which stimulate our body’s survival mechanisms. This is known as our ‘Fight or Flight’ response. In order to escape a perceived threat, our body increases blood flow to our muscles, increases blood pressure and pulse rate, and our breathing becomes faster. Other bodily functions not required for immediate survival either slow down or stop, for example our digestion and immune systems.
Whilst in ‘fight or flight’ mode, as part of the protective mechanism, a person may well bury emotions deep inside their body to help survive the traumatic experience. These emotions can become trapped and stored as cellular memory.
If we are continually exposed to stress or kept in the ‘fight or flight’ response over a long period of time, our health can be impaired. We might also find ourselves instigating negative coping mechanisms such as excessive smoking, eating or drinking or taking drugs. For a person suffering with PTSD, the perception of danger is continual, and they are always in ‘fight or flight’ mode.
How can Reiki help PTSD?
Reiki benefits people that have PTSD because it elicits what we call the relaxation response, also known as ‘Rest, Digest, Restore’ mode. Our body is supposed to return to this state after a perceived threat has passed. People that have experienced trauma and/or are anxious, have difficulty reaching this healing state on their own.
Reiki brings the whole body back into balance and reminds it of how it felt to be calm and at peace again. When the body is in balance, the self-healing mechanisms kick in and the body can begin to heal itself. Reiki promotes deep relaxation during which it is possible for the body to release trapped emotions and trauma very gently.
It is important to mention at this point, that reiki is not a replacement for traditional medicine but termed as a complimentary therapy. If you think that you may have PTSD, you should seek medical advice. It should also be noted that it is not possible to predict a person’s experience or outcome to a Reiki session. Reiki promotes healing at the soul or spirit level and each person’s healing experience is personal to them.
Specific Reiki benefits for PTSD
Of all the wonderful effects of Reiki, there are a few that are specifically beneficial to PTSD sufferers:
1. The increase in ‘rest and digest’ part of the nervous system as mentioned above.
2. The safe and healing presence of the practitioner that can help the client learn to relax and build trust with closeness and light touch.
3. The calming, safe environment of the therapy room that can offer a safe-haven, allowing the mental and emotional defences to lower.
Reiki is a wonderful, effective tool in helping to heal from PTSD, because it is so safe, gentle, and non-invasive.
The effects of energy work compound over time, so it’s best to plan on regular sessions when dealing with something deeply set and complex, like most psychological or nervous disorders.
However, calm and relaxation can be enjoyed right away while you’re on the table, and that in itself, is one of the most powerful healing forces in our bodies!
Reiki sessions are tailored to individual clients needs through information gathering during the initial consultation. Giving clients choices on how the session proceeds, enables the individual to feel in control of the session and anxiety levels can be minimised.
Below is a review from Alex who is one of my PTSD clients. Reiki is helping Alex to heal and take back control of his life.
If you would like to start your Reiki journey, please complete a message form at the bottom of the Booking and Fees Page by clicking here or by telephoning 07823 324564.